Geoff, The short answer to the question is that "Rostfrei" or stainless steel bayonets were to the best of my knowledge not made in the TR era. With the long answer being this: The earliest RZM document that I know of lists an alloy for the HJ knives that is not unlike a stainless steel with a high chromium content, but not labeled as such. Most likely a very short lived attempt, we also know that there are countless HJ knives with rusted blades that makes it difficult for a statistical analysis that is made even more difficult as many have been refurbished/repolished. With the blade makers no doubt frustrated by a 1935 restriction on new supplies imposed on civilian market manufacturing that used strategic metals like copper, chromium, etc. that was needed for the military buildup, forcing makers to switch to substitutes. However, there was presumably a waiver for at least a little while for the Wehrmacht which is evidenced by a successful 1938 German Army order for brass hilted Officer's model swords, and very likely the Luftwaffe gravity knives with "Rostfrei" marked components as well if the time periods are in alignment.
by Geoff Ward
With the topic of blade polishing going back centuries that can be summarized I think as follows: German (and some other) sword blades in the 19th century were polished lengthwise. With the ricasso areas polished at a right angle to the blade in a direction between the back or spine to the blade's cutting edge that is often described as cross-graining, noting that because signs of this polishing would be obvious on adjacent components it was most likely done prior to final assembly. I couldn't find an easily available sword image for a comparable to the posted bayonets images to illustrate the concept, so here are some much later examples in what I think is an interesting photo that shows their noticeably crude workmanship when compared to early production. With the caveat that when making evaluations that the types of items, different makers, and time periods are factors that should probably be taken into consideration. Best Regards, Fred
06-03-2016 02:08 AM